NIPPON Kichi - 日本吉

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三陸リアス式海岸 Sanriku-riasushiki-kaigan  Saw-tooth Sanriku Coastline

Jp En

The Riasu (or Saw-tooth) Sanriku Coastline is a raised coastline of 600km in total that spreads out from southeast of the Aomori Prefecture through the coast of the Iwate Prefecture to Ojika Peninsula in Miyagi Prefecture.  Sanriku (or three riku) is a generic term referring to Mutsu in Aomori, Rikuchuu in Aomori and Rikuzen in Miyagi.  The Riasu coast is a jagged stretch of coastline that consists of many long, narrow coastal inlets which uniformly cut into the coastal lands creating the appearance of saw teeth.
Offshore at the Sanriku coast is where the Okhotsk current (Oyashio) , a cold current, and the Japan Current (Kuroshio),  a warm current, meet,  creating a rich fishing spot that is considered to be one of the Four Great Fishing Grounds in the world.
The precipitous cliffs of the Sanriku coast are also an ideal breeding ground for wild birds such as osprey, Japanese cormorant and black-tailed gull.
Along the Riasu Sanriku Coastline there are many spectacular vistas created by the raging waves and rain storms of the Pacific Ocean.

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臼碆 Uusbae Usubae Rock

Jp En

Beyond the cliff of strange rocks at Usubae Point to the west of Ashizuri Cape, there is a huge rock named Usubae in the ocean. The word “usu-bae” is the combination of “usu (a millstone)” and “hae,” which is voiced into the sound “bae” when combined. A huge rock in the ocean is called “hae” in the areas along the south coast of Shikoku. The kanji for stone (石) placed under the kanji for wave (波) comprises the kanji representing “hae (碆).”

Usubae Rock is 2 m tall above the sea level and 10 m in circumference. As the scene of the rock in the midst of the whirlpool created by the collision of the cold Oyashio Current and the Japan Current from the south looks like a millstone, it is called “Usubae (Millstone Rock).” “Usubae” is originally the name of the rock itself, but the headland facing the rock also came to be called Usubae in the later times.

The collision of the two currents creates a fine fishing grounds. In the old days, the wives of fishermen in this area used to visit Ryuogu (Dragon King Palace) Shrine at the tip of the Usubae Point. They brought Japanese sake and some accompaniment to drink and prayed to the god for their husbands’ safe navigation and bumper catch.

Seen from the observatory at the top of the cliff, from adjacent Unomisaki Point, or from wherever else, Usubae Rock gives you an illusion that Dragon King will rise up from under the vortex of the sea at any moment.
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"Nippon-kichi" leads you to places, people and things that reveal a certain Japanese aesthetic.

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